Flatire Burgers: you may actually get a flat tire
Here at EatAroundOKC, it has long been established that there is one and only one “best” burger in Oklahoma City, and that is Nic’s Grill. Ever since we published our review of Nic’s in 2008, we’ve encountered nothing but positive comments from our readers and we’ve watched as Nic’s fame has spread across Oklahoma City and, literally, the world.
But Nic’s is a very unique burger joint and one that just can’t fit for all of your burger dining needs. His limited hours, cramped dining space, and the fact that you have to get there at 10:45am to avoid the lunch rush can make Nic’s impractical for many occasions. Plus, those of us with small children realize you’re not going to have much success with a family meal at Nic’s (unless you can somehow hang your kids from the ceiling). So, I am continually on the hunt for other burger places that offer something unique but with a little more room to spread out or bring the family along.
Irma’s Burger Shack has always been a solid choice for family burger dining (especially at the roomy midtown location), and now we bring you another contender — Flatire Burgers.
I’m not sure how I’ve gone so long without trying Flatire Burgers. It’s likely the location, which is way up in the heart of Edmond, right next to the UCO campus. That’s a bit of a drive for me, but I’ve made a couple of trips up there in the last month to check them out (their website says new locations are on the way, so maybe one of those will be more convenient for me).
The stand alone building has an intentionally run-down look on the exterior, really going for that shabby, hole-in-the-wall, college-esque vibe. Inside, it’s a nice but very live space. It can be difficult to have a conversation in there when it’s crowded. They have a pretty nice, two-story patio it appears, though I’ve never seen anyone eating out there.
The parking situation is terrible, and is really my biggest complaint for Flatire. There’s a paved lot which can hold a tiny number of cars, then you have to loop around into a very bumpy, skinny, gravel lot where it’s basically a free-for-all to grab the next 10-12 spaces. Beyond that, it’s all restricted UCO parking, so I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do when all the spaces are full, which can happen easily. I have ended up just circling around, backing up, doing three-point turns, all the while reducing the life expectancy of my car until a space opens up. I suppose they get a lot of walking traffic and students who can use the university lots so maybe parking isn’t a priority. Or, maybe, this is intentionally designed to enhance the “flat tire” theme?
The strength of Flatire is not the burger patties themselves as they are not made fresh at the restaurant but brought in from a supplier. They have a good flavor and texture, but, you know, you’re not going to make waves in the burger world by cooking up someone else’s patty.
No, the strength of this restaurant is, instead, in the creativity and variety they offer. They have nineteen different burger configurations including things like the Maui Burger ($7.39) with grilled ham, pepper jack, pineapple jalepeno relish, lettuce and bbq sauce. Or the Green Chili Burger ($6.59) with green chiles, pepper jack and chipotle mayo (I had this one and it was great). Plus, every burger can be made with the beef patty, veggie patty, chicken or tilapia filet and you can choose from a white, wheat, or jalepeno bun.
They also offer sweet potato fries. They weren’t on the menu yet when I went, but they are available as a special order. Let me tell you, these fries are delicious. They are $2.59 per order, but you can have them split an order between two people if you wish. Personally, I will require a full order of these every time I go.
I also really liked the fried pickles ($6.99 appetizer). These are the same pickles they put on the burgers and they are very thick and very good so you can imagine how they are even better when they are battered and fried.
They’ve got quite a few other options on the menu as well. There’s a selection of tacos which many of you have told me are very good. I haven’t tried them yet. There are coneys, salads and desserts, including a make your own s’mores kit which is fun for the whole family. Lots of kids meal options here as well, though at $5-$6 each, these are on the higher end of kid’s meal pricing.
Speaking of pricing, it’s not cheap to eat here. I’ve often complained about the high prices at Irma’s and Flatire suffers from the same price range. If you compare Flatire burger pricing to Irma’s regular burger pricing, they are roughly the same. Irma’s charges even more for their “no name” beef but that’s a higher-quality, hand-made patty so it’s more fair to compare Flatire with Irma’s regular burgers. I mean, you’re basically going to spend about $12-$13 (with tax and tip) for burger, fries and a drink. I’m very cheap and probably living in the past, but that seems high. I mean, I can get the best burger, fries and drink in the world at Nic’s for $8.75, tax included. So, I’m still waiting for the great, family burger place that offers me a burger combo in the $7 range. Oh, hey, there’s McDonald’s, right ??
Anyway, bottom line — I like Flatire Burgers. If I lived or worked in Edmond, I’d likely go there pretty regularly. Since I don’t, I’ll probably only make an occasional trip out there. Though it’s very comparable to Irma’s regular burgers in price, quality, and family friendliness, I think I prefer Flatire just because of the added variety. But on the other hand, Irma’s offers the no-name beef, which is higher quality, though you’ll pay up for it as well.
What do you think about Flatire Burgers? What other family burger joints do you enjoy? Let us know in the comments below.